Tigers Walk Off to Complete Sweep of Cowgirls
COLUMBIA -- The No. 9 Missouri Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowgirls battled for 10 innings in the regular season finale on Sunday afternoon, with the Tigers pulling out a walk off victory to complete the three game sweep. Missouri stands at 43-12 on the year and finish alone in second place in the Big 12 with a 17-7 record.
Redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas threw a complete game shutout, tossing all 10 innings while allowing five hits and two walks. She recorded 13 strikeouts on the day, making her the program's all-time strikeout leader. She now has 898 strikeouts in her career, surpassing Teresa Wilson's school record of 893, a 29-year old record that was set back in 1983.
The Tigers took leadoff walks in three of the first four innings but lined in to double plays on two separate occasions. Oklahoma State's first good opportunity of the day came in the fifth, when they put runners on the corners with one away. Thomas was able to get the second out on a heads up play back to the circle, where she chased down the runner at third and threw her out going back to the bag. A lineout to Nicole Hudson at third ended the inning and the threat.
OSU's Julie Ward led off the top of the seventh with her second hit of the day, a double into the gap to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. She moved up to third on a sacrifice fly, but the Tigers got a break when Ward broke for home on an apparent missed sign for a suicide squeeze, allowing Jenna Marston to throw her out at third.
In the ninth, Kelsea Roth appeared to have belted a walk off home run to right center field, but the screaming liner hit the top of the wall and stayed in play for a single. Missouri finally broke through in the 10th to win the game, jumpstarted by Mackenzie Sykes' double to the right-center gap. On the first pitch she saw, Marston delivered the walk off single, scoring Sykes from second base, to give Missouri the win.
Roth led the offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, singling three times. Marston picked up two hits and the lone RBI, while Sykes recorded Mizzou's other hit.
The Tigers will now play the waiting game, as they prepare to find out where they will play at next weekend's Regionals. The NCAA Softball Selection Show airs Sunday tonight at 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU.